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Urban Slide and Fabulous Ambiance

August 31, 2012

You’re looking glossy these days-
a heyday foothold above
the Golden Horn

Next door, your sisters, still
brownly down-at-heel and not quite
fashionably distressed, wait,

blank as possibility

Further into the labyrinth, the tick
of sweat-shop life spills on
the cobbles – head-scarved women

plait Galliano leather, gasping air
on crusted summer curbs, kids
bending it like Beckham

sharp splinters
spent futures
and a glimpse of the Bosphorus

Between sky-scrapered handcarts
and rusty white Renaults,
UNESCO salvation chinks –

a sunny, chicken-run row of weather-board
houses, windows blinking sunny Istanbul,
glass panes ajar for the call to prayer
from Süleymaniye Mosque

Each basking new money, dripping Euro sighs,
drawing gapers – us – to feel
the east-west press of history

Bohemian genteel jostles
slip-shod urban slide, catching
(just in the nick) the shingle-fall of tiles

They’re framing the shimmer of Ottoman Days
across the world wide web

It’s a picture
Real Turkish
+++-a confectioner’s Delight


It’s Tuesday.. that means Open Link Night with the very diverse dVerse Poets Pub
Reading around the world:

From → Uncategorized

  1. kids bend it like beckham, ha, nice way to work that in and say it…smiles..Bohemian genteel jostles
    slip-shod urban slide…love the way that just rolls as well….the turkish delight in the end is a cool touch as well…

  2. words rush to do service to the lady with the dancing fingers and patient eyes, a genteel dagger in her garter

  3. ha! and I thought it was invisible 🙂
    Thanks, ed.

  4. A powerful, atmospheric sense of place here. Strong stuff.

  5. I love taking this trips, you make me feel inside the poem, a magical place to be. As ever your writing dazzles and entices!

    • It was a magical place, Anna, full of contradictions, ideas jostling in every street. Thanks so much for your visit.

  6. I feel that this is about the insinuation of New World gloss on the Old World, the insinuation of Western ideals into the mores of other cultures. If so, what an amazing way to do it, invoking a specificity of glossy icons – fashion, athletic, culinary – balanced against the wonders and delights of a people or a world that too soon may be overwhelmed. The images are heady, and the language is a delight to say out loud.

    • Samuel, yes, you have cut straight to the heart of the matter. Your reading grasps many of the ideas that created real paradox in how I saw modern Istanbul. I’m very happy to hear I was able to convey some of the juxtapositions, oddities and inundations. I found it fascinating, sad, exciting.. the stereotytpical east-west tectonics were magnetic. Thanks so much for your comments.

  7. Semaphore permalink

    Sometimes there’s more to poetry than the quick hit, sometimes to enjoy it more, it has to be savoured… turned over in the mind, thought about, tasted for texture. That’s the kind of poetry I love. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Haven’t I read this before…there are such sharp details that work together to create a sense of place. Love it, Becky.

  9. very cool…never been to istanbul but heard that it is an absolutely fascinating city…and really love how you captured the scenes, the atmosphere…the turkish delight…hmmmmmm and bending it like beckham…very cool…would love to go there…even more after reading this..

    • Thanks Claudi… very happy to hear that this has piqued your interest. I can’t wait to go back..

  10. Full of mood, detail and the attraction of the unusual (to me) old world atmosphere…interesting mix of new and old. You took advantage of a great creative opportunity with this subject. Nice job.

  11. I haven’t been to Istanbul either, but what you’ve written (very beautifully) could be said about many modern vibrant cities – the clash of the new and old always ongoing.

    • Yes, I tend to agree, Mark… just a matter of how that jostle manifests itself. Lovely to see you here.

  12. hypercryptical permalink

    Thanks for this wonderful view of Instanbul. Feel I’ve been there now…

    Anna :o]

  13. Bosphorus… I love that.. Bosphorus.. it’s fascinating…

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